Composers Of 19th And 20th
This essay will consist of information about nine composers and one piece of
work that they are known for dating from 1862 to 1990. The names of these
composers are: Aaron Copeland, Claude Debussy, Charles Ives, Scott Joplin,

Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Leonard Berstein, Igor Stravinsky, and Arnold

Schoenberg. The first composer I will discuss will be Aaron Copeland (1900 ?

1990). Mr. Copeland was born in Brooklyn, New York USA to Russian American
immigrant parents. His style is strongly tonal with polychords, polyrhythm,
changing meters and percussive orchestration. His influences include his teacher

Nadia Boulanger, Picasso, Stravinsky and Ernest Hemmingway. Some notable history
about Mr. Copeland is that he created Appalachian Spring for Martha Graham and
he used American folklore as the subject with many of his works. The piece I
will be discussing will be Appalachian Spring Section VII Theme and Variations
on Simple Gifts I (1943-1944). The media of this piece is the orchestra and the
texture is definitely homophonic. The melody is songlike, lyrical, and
danceable, with conjunct motion. The harmony is tonal because the tune is easily
recognizable. This piece is in duple meter with a moderate tempo. The form is
theme and variations because the theme is recognizable throughout the entire
piece. One of the programmatic ideas is that this piece is to be performed as a
ballet. The ballet is a story of a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly
built farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills in the 1800's. The second composer
is Claude Debussy (1862 ?1918). My Debussy was born in St. Germain?en-laye,

Paris France. His style is typically impressionistic, he used unprecedented tone
color with subtle changes in timbre. He used frequent instrument solos and the
woodwinds were used in unusual registers. Mr. Debussy also used catatonic scales
and whole tone scales. Some of his influences were Richard Wagner, Asian music,
literary and pictorial ideas and Russian model music. The music of The Prelude
to the Afternoon Faun (1894) is a piece of work that Mr. Debussy wrote after
reading the poem by Stephane Mallarme. "This poem evokes the dreams and erotic
fantasies of a pagan forest creature who is half man, half goat". The media of
this piece is orchestra with shifting textures. The melody is based on the E

Major scale, and the harmony is tonal. The meter is very vague with a moderate
tempo, and the form is definitely ABA with a vagueness of rhythm and distinct
cadences. Charles Ives is the third composer I will discuss (1874 ? 1954). Mr.

Ives was born in Danburry Connecticut, USA. His style is eclectic with his
influences being his father who was a bandmaster, the war, personal experiences,
and Horetio Parker. His music also has features of American tradition. Mr. Ives
is also known as a transcendentalist. A transcendentalist is someone that lives
on intuition. Some notable history about Mr. Debussy is that he made his"living" selling insurance so he could spend time composing his music. He
also won a Pulitzer Prize. The representative work I will discuss is Three

Places in New England Putman's Camp, Redding, Connecticut (1912). The media is
orchestra, with the texture having a distorted polyphony. The melody has super
imposed familiar melodies against a chromatic background. The harmony is tonal
with a complex rhythm and a fast tempo. The form is a one movement orchestral
work, most commonly known as ABA form. Three Places in New England is a set of
three pieces for an orchestra to excite memories of American history and
landscapes. Putman's Camp is a child's impression of a Fourth of July picnic
with fireworks and carnival rides. The fourth composer I will be discussing is

Scott Joplin (1868 ? 1917). Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime"
music, was born near Linden, Texas on November 24, 1868. He moved with his
family to Texarkana at the age of about seven. Mr. Joplin's style of music is
ragtime yet he was trained in "classical" music and wrote a ballet and two
operas along with many piano rags. His influences were his parents, and Julius

Weiss, who became his teacher when he was eleven. His music is a unique blend of

European classical styles combined with African American harmony and rhythm.

True-life events and real places inspired many of Mr. Joplin's songs. One of
his first compositions was The Great Crush Collision, which was inspired by a
great locomotive crash near Waco Texas. The piece I will be discussing in this
essay is Maple Leaf Rag (1899) which is a classical example of ragtime. The
media for Maple Leaf Rag